CLUBLINKSINIAN CHAT - SUSAN LAHOOD

An appreciation for health and fitness through a love of sport from a young age, Venue Manager for UNSWFAC and latest Clublinksinian Chat subject, Susan Lahood, said that choosing a career in sport and fitness was her way of giving back after a childhood filled with great memories of playing sport.

Having grown up in Sydney and jumping headfirst into a Certificate III in fitness straight out the gate of school, it was her first role pounding the pavement with treadmill sales at a local shopping centre that showcased Susan’s natural likeability and passion for helping people.

Her spirit shone through almost immediately to a local gym owner who quickly poached her as a lead PT in his facility, where she quickly climbed the ladder into managerial roles before leap frogging peers to a managerial role at another fitness facility as team leader and marketing coordinator.

Seven years later and the title of Group Marketing Manager, Susan was ready for the next challenge in Venue Manager for UNSW Fitness & Aquatic Facility.

When asked what about the role or organization was attractive, Susan advised it was the hyper personalised boutique style that Clublinks operated, combined with the challenge of operating a busy aquatic facility after 12mths of closure in 2020, that sealed the deal.

Susan’s enthusiasm shines through so evidently when she speaks about her industry, its not hard to see why the UNSWFAC and its team enthusiastically reflected this attitude. Since Susan has taken the helm, the facility has gone from strength to strength with her citing a strong team culture and staff experience as the main contributing factors to that success.

“The biggest indicator for me is staff experience because that translates into member experience. There is so much potential at this venue and my vision is for each space to receive more engagement through activating different kinds of programs – that to me would be success.”

When she’s not kicking goals in her role, Susan loves nothing more than throwing in some headphones and doing what she calls “therapy” aka a tough workout or running around after her Jack Russell Seymour whilst spending time with her lovely partner Anna.

When asked what gets her motivated and up in the morning (aside from an excitable Jack Russell), Susan remarks “it is the thought of being in a role that you feel like you’re learning – both on the tools and about yourself. You’re learning more about an industry, learning more about other people. That kind of thing is enough to get me up.”

In just over 12mths in operation of the UNSWFAC facility, Clublinks have achieved 25% and 29% above KPIs for fitness memberships and swim school attendances respectively. This despite over 16 weeks of lockdown in 2021. Susan is a true leader that gets results, and we are proud to call her a Clublinksinian.